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Genius

Genius

Genius_season_2_241x208
  • Premiered: 
    April 25, 2017
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Nat Geo
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Drama
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Historical
  • Tags:

Buy This Show on DVD or Watch Online

  • Click a button to buy a DVD at Amazon
  • Season 1: Einstein
    • Amazon
Legal Full Episodes
Not Available Online
(That We Know Of)

Plot Synopsis

Executive produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, GENIUS is a one-hour scripted anthology series that centers on the most creative minds in the history of arts and sciences, with each 10-episode season focusing on a different person.

The first season, based on Walter Isaacson's book "Einstein: His Life and Universe," takes Einstein's story beyond the laboratory to explore his struggles to be a good husband and father, and a man of principle during a period of global unrest. His daringly creative mind often landed him in trouble with his loved ones and peers, but also helped him to usher in groundbreaking discoveries that reshaped modern science. The series begins in Einstein's teenage years, when he opposes his father and drops out of school in Germany to go to university in Switzerland. His love of women and passion for theoretical physics blossom after he breaks the heart of his first love, Marie Winteler, to pursue his mysterious and elusive fellow physics student Mileva Maric. Their whirlwind romance puts them at odds with teachers and leads to an unexpected pregnancy, forcing both to set aside grand dreams and Einstein to take a mundane job as a patent clerk at the urging of his close friend Michele Besso. Striving in earnest to break into the scientific establishment, Einstein publishes five original papers in one year, catching the eye of many, including the scientist who will go on to become his fiercest adversary, Dr. Philipp Lenard. As World War I looms and his marriage begins to crumble, Einstein throws himself into an affair with his first cousin Elsa. Shifting global politics draw him into increasingly politicized scientific circles, causing friction with friends and fellow scientists like Fritz Haber and Max Planck. Taking a moral stand, Einstein refuses to support Germany's war effort. When war descends and borders are shut down, he is prevented from going to his sons in Switzerland when they need him most. Einstein's fortunes rise after the war when relativity is proved right. On the verge of becoming an overnight celebrity, Elsa demands he marry her to avoid the scandal such scrutiny will bring. Fighting with Mileva for a divorce, Einstein also has to contend with the roller coaster of fame. After a tense interview with consulate official Raymond Geist, he eventually escapes a rising tide of anti-Semitism and seeks sanctuary in the United States as an immigrant. Living and teaching in Princeton, New Jersey, Einstein continues to be besieged on all sides. His fractious relationship with his children and grandchildren weighs on him, he ends up in bed with Russian spy Margarita Konenkova and he must cope with J. Edgar Hoover's personal vendetta to bring him down. He also faces possibly his biggest challenge ever: the pressure to set aside his lifelong pacifism in the hopes of stopping Hitler's conquest of Europe. While his journey is far from easy, Einstein still manages to find hope and inspiration before his death, in the form of a young girl learning to understand the world. As Einstein famously said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." GENIUS debuted Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 9pm ET/PT on Nat Geo, with Howard directing the first episode.

Season 2 of GENIUS will premiere on Tuesday, April 24, 2017 from 9-11pm ET/PT on National Geographic Channel. The second season chronicles the life and work of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, one of the 20th century's most influential and celebrated artists. The artistic career of Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso spanned more than 80 of his 91 years, much of it in his second home of France. Much like the subject of the first season of GENIUS, Albert Einstein, Picasso imagined and interpreted the world in totally new and unorthodox ways, and constantly reinvented our perceptions of art and creativity. The prolific artist generated more than 50,000 works, among the most notable being The Old Guitarist from his Blue Period, now on display at the Art Institute of Chicago; Guernica, inspired by the Nazi bombing of a small Spanish town of the same name, currently on display at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain; and Les Demoiselles D'Avignon, inspired by lover and muse Fernande Olivier, now on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. His passionate nature and relentless creative drive were inextricably linked to his personal life, which included tumultuous marriages, numerous affairs and constantly shifting political and personal alliances. He lived most of his life in the vibrant Paris of the first half of the 20th Century and crossed paths with writers and artists including Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Gertrude Stein, Georges Braque, and Jean Cocteau. Picasso constantly reinvented himself, always striving to innovate and push the boundaries of artistic expression. Antonio Banderas portrays Pablo Picasso, with Alex Rich sharing the title role, playing a young Pablo. Several cast members from the first season of GENIUS will return to the franchise, including Samantha Colley as Dora Maar, a French photographer and painter who was also Picasso's lover and muse; T.R. Knight as Max Jacob, one of Picasso's first friends in Paris; Seth Gabel as Guillaume Apollinaire, one of the foremost poets of the 20th century and a frequent collaborator with Picasso; and Johnny Flynn as French actor Alain Cuny. New cast members include Clemence Poesy as Francoise Gilot, a French painter and best-selling author whose decadelong affair with Picasso yielded two children; Sebastian Roche as Emile Gilot, Francoise's tyrannical father; Robert Sheehan as Carlos Casagemas, a Spanish art student and poet who was one of Picasso's closest friends; Poppy Delevingne as Marie-Therese Walter, a lover and muse of Picasso, who mothered his first daughter; and Aisling Franciosi as Fernande Olivier, a French artist and model who Picasso painted more than 60 portraits of.
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The third season of GENIUS, GENIUS: ARETHA FRANKLIN, will be the first-ever, definitive scripted miniseries on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul. Legendary hit record producer Clive Davis and Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman have also joined as executive producers. Imagine Entertainment has partnered with Warner Music Group for this third season, which will again be executive produced by Imagine's Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Francie Calfo; Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane (MWM Studios); and Sam Sokolow (EUE/Sokolow). Imagine's Anna Culp will serve as producer alongside Peter Afterman.

The production will feature many of Franklin's biggest recordings and hit songs from the comprehensive Warner Music catalogue, including "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," "Chain of Fools," "Don't Play That Song," "Since You've Been Gone" and "Baby I Love You." In addition, the series will feature Franklin's performances of "I Knew You Were Waiting for Me," "Freeway of Love" and "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves."


"Aretha Franklin had the ability to empower generations through her iconic music, and I'm excited to finally be able to tell her story, a career passion of mine. All through her life she used her voice to elevate people and the causes she believed in, especially the women's and civil rights movements," said Grazer. "You can hear the hopes and sorrows of a divided nation in her soulful voice, penetrating and motivating people at their core in a deeply emotional way. She cut through the pain of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination to help heal and unite America with her music and, in the process, ushered in the post-gospel era of rhythm and blues. We're so grateful she shared her genius with the world."

"Aretha and I shared a 40-year friendship, ever since she cooked me dinner to talk about working together to reinvigorate her career," said Davis. "I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her and her incredible instrument. She was a gift to the world, one that will last for many generations. I am thrilled to be celebrating her genius with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Imagine."

"Since that day 52 years ago, when Aretha Franklin entered a recording studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, sat down at the piano, and recorded her first track for Atlantic Records, music was changed forever. She took the roots of gospel and R&B, and imbued them with unprecedented originality, spirit, and depth," said Kallman. "Through her talent and her humanity, Aretha transformed people and cultures across the globe. Her Atlantic recordings form a phenomenal body of work that has entered the timeless musical canon, and we're deeply proud to be a part of her extraordinary legacy. Warner Music Group is honored to be partnering with Ron, Brian, and the team at Imagine, along with Clive Davis, to tell the story of Aretha's genius."

Tony award-winning Parks is the first African-American woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize in Drama, for the 2001 play "Topdog/Underdog." The distinguished author was named among Time magazine's "100 Innovators for the Next Wave" and is a MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient. Her other work includes "In the Blood" (Pulitzer Prize finalist), "The Gershwin's Porgy and Bess" (Tony Award winner), "Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 and 3" (Pulitzer Prize finalist) and "Unchain My Heart: The Ray Charles Musical." Most recently, she wrote the screenplay for the feature film "Native Son," which was acquired by HBO in advance of its premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

The anthology series will explore Franklin's musical genius, incomparable career and the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she had around the world. Grammy Award winner Franklin was a gospel prodigy and outspoken civil rights champion and is widely considered to be the greatest singer of her generation, receiving countless honors throughout her career.

Without knowing how to read music, Franklin taught herself to play the piano, began to record songs and sang on gospel tours with her father. She signed her first record deal at age 18 with Columbia Records before moving to Atlantic Records and then Arista, where she was united with founder Davis and began a more than 40-year partnership with him. The legendary singer is one of the world's best-selling musical artists of all time, with more than 75 million records sold globally during her career. Her voice was identified as a "natural resource" by her home state of Michigan.

Imagine has a history of creating timeless and culturally impactful films, shows and documentaries in the world of music, including the Academy Award-winning film "8 Mile," the Grammy Award-winning documentary "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week -- The Touring Years" and Emmy-winning television drama EMPIRE. The company also produced the film "Get On Up" about James Brown, and many documentaries, including "Jay Z's Made in America," "Katy Perry: Part of Me" and the upcoming "Pavarotti." Imagine is currently in production on the Hulu series "Wu-Tang: An American Saga" and developing a film version of the musical "Tick,Tick...BOOM!" with Lin-Manuel Miranda directing.

Cast

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by FOX 21
  • Produced by Imagine Television
  • Produced by OddLot Entertainment